Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Anna and the French Kiss

I spent my entire winter break either playing with my kid, watching Dino Dan *groan* smelling stinky dog farts, or reading.

Playing with my daughter and reader were the best parts.

I read over five books in 10 days. 

But Anna and the French Kiss was by far the best.

There was buzz about this book for a while.  Almost every blog I read did a review about it.  John Green listed it as one of his favorite things about 2010.

Back over Thanksgiving Break, I turned to my husband and said, "Hey, if your placing an order at amazon, there's a book I want."
My husband places at least 4 orders a month with amazon, 95% of our christmas shopping was done on Amazon.  I knew for a FACT he was going to be placing an order.  He was on the website as I was telling him I wanted Anna and the French Kiss.

Then the waiting started.  Boxes started to arrive, but no Anna. 
Presents were under the tree and wrapped, but no Anna.
More reviews more praises and for the LOVE OF GOD I WANTED TO READ THIS BOOK! But no Anna.
Then FINALLY I SNAPPED. "Babe, did you order my book?  It hasn't come yet and I'm sort of freaking out."
He went to the tree and handed me the wrapped christmas present, "I thought I was going to run short of gifts so I wrapped it instead."
I ripped the paper.  ANNA!  "How long have we had this?"
He shrugged, "About three weeks now."

But I didn't sprint up stairs and read it.  No, I had a library book and several books I needed to read on my fall reading list before I could dive into it.

Totally worth the wait.

So this is how I can tell I LOVE a book. I put it down. I walk away or I lie in my bed.  I ache to write my own book.  I remember the scenes I haven't gotten around to writing yet.   My day dreams lasts for a few more minutes and then I go back to the book.

Good books inspire me to write.

EXCELLENT books make me wish they would never end.  That's why I stop.

Because when I return to them, it's like coming home.  It's like Anna was my best friend and I so desperately wanted to talk to her again.  With every passing page I'm filled with a love and sadness because the book will be over soon and I'll never have the experience of reading it for the first time again. 

I fell in love on page 19.  I almost NEVER directly quote a book, but Stephanie Perkins nailed it.
"If this were a vacation I'm sure I'd be charmed. I'd buy an Eiffel Tower key chain, take pictures of the cobblestones and order a platter of escargot. But I'm not on vacation. I'm here to live and I feel small." 

PERFECT.  Variety of sentence length.  Embodies the typical tourist habits.  Sets up the internal conflict.  And while this experience is strictly Anna's.  Doesn't everyone feel small?

If you haven't read this book, stop what your doing and go order it. 
It's completely worth it.